Work and Travel in Venezuela
VOLUNTEER AND PAID WORK OPPORTUNITIES IN VENEZUELA FOR TRAVELLERS
Look at the news and you likely think: “Who would ever want to travel in Venezuela right now?”
But look to some of the travel bloggers and you’ll see that independent travellers are still deciding to work and travel in Venezuela. One of the ways you can do this is by looking at volunteer opportunities in Venezuela and taking advantage of what’s on offer.
They still exist and only certain parts of the country are too dangerous to visit. If you’re a strong personality, then take a look at our travel guide to Venezuela and see what works for you.
1. Provide Medical Services in Caracas
The Maduro Government has been hit by a huge inability to provide basic medical services to the population. It has led to the majority of the burden being shifted onto international volunteer organisations.
If you want to work and travel in Venezuela, you can volunteer to provide medical services in the areas worse affected by the cuts.
You don’t have to be a trained medical professional, although it helps.
2. Join in with Jungle Conservation in Tucupita
The jungles of Venezuela are far from the political issues in the capital. Tucupita is in the heart of the jungles of Venezuela and from here you can join in with managing the trees, the mangroves, and the swamps. You’ll be taught the tools of the conservation trade and you’ll learn how these operations work.
If you have experience in this line of work, you may even be able to secure a paid position as part of an international organisation. Take note, though, most paid workers who travel in Venezuela are only given what amounts to a local wage.
3. Teach Children in Venezuela
Another product of the Maduro Government is the declining education system. It has meant that volunteers have stepped in locally to help educate primary school pupils.
Thankfully, you don’t need to be a qualified teacher to join in with this. As a Westerner, teaching English in Venezuela is your best option for finding work in the country.
However, if you have a good level of Spanish you could teach anything from mathematics to biology at the basic level.
VOLUNTEER WORK VISA / PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR VENEZUELA
Despite the troubles involved with travel in Venezuela, the country continues to maintain an open visa policy with the majority of countries. Citizens of most other South American countries can travel in Venezuela with their national ID card. This is despite Venezuela withdrawing from the Andean Community in 2006. The Andean passport is also still valid.
For every other major nationality, including all of Europe, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, and Japan, there’s no need to apply for a visa in advance.
The only major exception to the rule is the United States. Travellers from the US will need to apply for a visa at a Venezuelan embassy. The reason for this is political, particularly since the US implemented sanctions against a number of major Venezuelan figures.
However, the visa isn’t overly difficult to get and may just take a few weeks to be issued. Bear in mind that the political situation can change quickly, so this is only a guideline.
SEASONAL BACKPACKER SKILLS NEEDED IN VENEZUELA
The seasons in Venezuela change little from season to season. With a few notable exceptions, the weather changes between the seasons are so insignificant that they shouldn’t influence your travel plans one way or another. You just need to bear in mind the changes in tourism.
One of those exceptions are in the rainforest. If you intend on travelling to the Amazon or the jungles of the north, you should choose spring as your ideal time to travel. The temperatures aren’t too humid and most conservation roles are active at this time of year.
Tourism in the country has collapsed since Venezuela entered its period of turmoil. But that hasn’t impacted the whole of the country. The northern islands off the coast of Venezuela continue to be havens for tourists, particularly those with boats sailing from parts of Central America.
These islands are mainly resorts catering to high class tourists, but you can still find work in the resorts, especially if you’re trained as an instructor in things like surfing, water skiing, and snorkelling.
Travellers have reported that they have managed to secure work, including paying work.
You could always pick up conservation work in the rainforests, like in spring, but you can also work and travel in Venezuela as an English teacher at this time of year.
The school year in Venezuela starts in September, so it’s an ideal time to secure employment. With so many teachers dropping out of the profession, it’s an ideal time for travellers to find work in major cities like Caracas.
Winter in Venezuela isn’t particularly cold outside of the Andean Mountains. In winter all of the above roles are still available. There’s no specific seasonal work available in the country at this time of year, but many people who want to work and travel in Venezuela choose to work in the jungles and rainforests as it’s slightly less humid during the winter months.
ATTITUDE TO FOREIGNERS WORKING OR VOLUNTEERING IN VENEZUELA
There’s no specific anti-foreign bias in Venezuela, but foreigners are generally targets for robbery. This is simply because the locals see foreigners as rich with money, as well as precious foreign currency. Outside of the major cities this is generally not a problem, but in places like Caracas it’s like walking around with a target on your chest.
That’s why if you want to work and travel in Venezuela you have to be extremely careful. It’s strongly recommended that you avoid taking public transport at this time to reduce your chances of problems.
However, take note, that this is also a problem experienced by locals. It’s not specifically targeted against foreigners alone.
That’s why work and travel in Venezuela isn’t for the faint of heart. Do you have what it takes to tackle Venezuela?
- Edited on May 23 2018 by Roman